Associations between birth size, perhaps as a marker of the pre-natal environment, and subsequent breast cancer risk have been identified before, but the findings from epidemiological studies have been inconsistent.
The team re-analysed data from published and unpublished studies to obtain more precise estimates of the extent to which birth size affects the risk of breast cancer later in life and to investigate whether they could be explained by associations with other risk factors.
They examined 32 studies, comprising 22,058 breast cancer cases among a total of more than 600,000 women, the large majority of whom lived in developed countries. They found that birth weight was positively associated with breast cancer risk in studies where the size at birth information was based on birth records (although not in those based on adult self-reports, which tend to be less accurate). Analyses of women with data from birth records showed that a 0.5 kg increment in birth weight was associated with an estimated 7% increase in the risk of breast cancer.
Birth length and head circumference were also positively associated with breast cancer risk when studies with data from birth records were analysed. Of the three birth size measures examined, birth length appeared to be the strongest independent predictor of risk.
The estimated magnitude of the birth size association with breast cancer risk was not affected when the effects of established breast cancer risk factors were accounted for.
Isabel dos Santos Silva, Professor of Epidemiology at LSHTM and lead author of the study, commented:
‘Our study indicates that birth size is a marker of susceptibility to breast cancer in adulthood, at least in developed countries. The birth size - breast cancer association appeared to be largely independent of known risk factors. Little is known on how the pre-natal environment may affect breast cancer risk later in life. Further research is needed to unravel the biological mechanisms underlying the birth size - breast cancer association’.
Gemma Howe | alfa
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.
In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...
Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
18.12.2017 | Life Sciences
18.12.2017 | Life Sciences
18.12.2017 | Information Technology